Saturday, October 13, 2018

A Case of Severe Cognitive Dissonance?

[For details on the graph see below]

Cognitive Dissonance: When a person or a group of people have attitudes, beliefs or behaviors that are in conflict with each other. Generally, this produces a feeling of mental discomfort that leads to an alteration in their attitudes, beliefs or behaviors that moderates their mental discomfort and restores balance.

I believe that the level of cognitive dissonance that we have about the influence of lunar tides upon El Nino events has become so large that something has to give.

In a series of blog posts in November 2014:

I showed that between 1870 and 2025, the precise alignments between the lunar synodic [phase] cycle and the 31/62 year Perigean New/Full moon cycle, naturally breaks up into six 31-year epochs each of which has a distinctly different tidal property. Note that the second of these 31-year intervals starts with the precise alignment on the 15th of April 1870, with the subsequent epoch boundaries occurring every 31 years after that:

Epoch 1 - Prior to 15th April  1870
Epoch 2 - 15th April 1870 to 18th April 1901
Epoch 3 - 8th April 1901 to 20th April 1932
Epoch 4 - 20th April 1932 to 23rd April 1963
Epoch 5 - 23rd April 1963 to 25th April 1994
Epoch 6 - 25th April 1994 to 27th April 2025

I claimed that if the 31/62-year seasonal tidal cycle plays a role in sequencing the triggering of El Niñevents, it would be reasonable to expect that its effects for the following three epochs:

New Moon Epoch:
Epoch 1 - Prior to 15th April  1870
Epoch 3 - 8th April 1901 to 20th April 1932
Epoch 5 - 23rd April 1963 to 25th April 1994

should be noticeably different to its effects for these three epochs:

Full Moon Epochs:
Epoch 2 - 15th April 1870 to 18th April 1901
Epoch 4 - 20th April 1932 to 23rd April 1963
Epoch 6 - 25th April 1994 to 27th April 2025

In addition, I showed that:

Moderate-to-strong El Niño events in the New Moon epochs preferentially occur near times when the lunar line-of-apse aligns with the Sun at the times of the Solstices.

Moderate-to-strong El Niño events in the Full Moon epochs preferentially occur near times when the lunar line-of-apse aligns with the Sun at the times of the Equinoxes.

Astonishingly, there has been almost no response from the climate science community concerning these important findings. 

This terrible state of affairs persists even though there is overwhelming evidence that the Perigean New/Full tidal cycle must play a role in instigating moderate-to-strong El Nino events. 

The following graph shows the astronomical declination of the strongest Perigean New/Full Moon between 1962 and 1997 (solid blue line)(1). These are the strongest lunar tidal events during the 5th (New moon) Epoch that spans the period between the 23rd of April 1963 and the 25th of April 1994. The declinations of strongest Perigean New/Full Moons reach their maximum distance from the Celestial Equator once every 4.425 (= 8.850 / 2) tropical years, as a result of the slow prograde precession of the lunar line-of-apse with respect to the stars.

In addition, the graph shows the declination at which the Moon reaches lunar standstill near the times of the strongest Perigean New/Full moon events (dashed red lines).

Finally, the following graph shows the months that are associated with moderate-to-strong El Nino events between 1962 and 1996 [histograms]. These months have been determined by Smith and Sardeshmukh [2000] (2) using a Bivariate ENSO Time Series (BEST) index that effectively combines the atmospheric component of the ENSO (i.e. the SOI index) with the oceanic component (i.e Nino 3.4 SST anomaly index). [Note that the less stringent list of El Nino months from Smith and Sardeshmukh (2000) are adopted here. The less stringent list uses 0.96 standard deviation cut-off rather than 1.28 (3),(4)]

A comparison between the timing of El Nino months and the times at which the strongest Perigean New/Full Moons approach lunar standstill, clearly show close alignments for eight out of ten of the moderate-to-strong El Nino events. 

[N.B. The two moderate El Nino events in 1963/64 and 1993 that do not follow this pattern occur right near the boundaries of New Moon Epoch 5 where a transitioning is being made between New and Full Moon epochs. These two El Nino events appear to be part of the sequences associated with the Full Moon epochs (i.e. epoch 4 and 6) which occur when the strongest Perigean New/Full Moon events are close to the Celestial Equator.]   

It is absolutely amazing that the climate community is ignoring such clearcut evidence in favour of the hypothesis that the 31/62-year Perigean New/Full moon tidal cycle is the trigger for moderate-to-strong El Nino events.

[N.B. The starting months for most of El Nino events in Epoch 5 are close to times where either full moons at standstill occur in the northern hemisphere near the winter solstice (i.e December) or new moons occur at standstill in the southern hemisphere near the winter solstice (i.e. December). These are the strongest Perigean New/Full moons over the period between 1963 and 1994.]      


[1] JPL Horizons Web Interface Ephemeris - - last accessed 14/10/2018

[2] Smith, C.A. and P. Sardeshmukh, 2000, The Effect of ENSO on the Intraseasonal Variance of Surface Temperature in WinterInternational J. of Climatology20 1543-1557.



Monday, August 20, 2018

The ABC and Fake News...but I repeat myself!

The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) is telling its viewers that human-induced climate change is causing an unprecedented level of forest fires in the US.

Here is the truth:

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Coral bleaching is a problem that goes back four centuries

The Australian newspaper is reporting in a pay-walled article that coral bleaching is a problem that goes back four centuries.

"A study of coral core ­samples has extended the known history of bleaching by more than 350 years but warns it is becoming more frequent and may be ­approaching a “tipping point” ­beyond which reef survival is ­uncertain.

Published in Frontiers in Marine Science, the research by ­scientists from Glasgow and Edinburgh universities reconstructs temperature-induced bleaching patterns over 381 years spanning 1620-2001. The findings are at odds with claims that mass coral bleaching is a recent phenomenon due to climate change." 

The article claims that coral bleaching has been increasing since 1850 due to warming temperatures caused by human-induced global warming and that we are fast approaching a tipping point from which the GBR will not recover.

Here is my comment at the 16/08/2018 Australian:

Choosing 1850 as your starting point and then claiming that coral bleaching is increasing, is a classic case of false logic called cherry-picking. Looking at the data, I could just as easily claim that coral bleaching is controlled by the level of solar activity. There have been two periods in the last 400 years where the level of sunspot activity on the Sun has dramatically decreased. They are the Maunder minimum and the Dalton minimum. Both were associated with distinct periods of cooling in the world's mean ocean temperatures, with the Maunder minimum reaching its coolest temperatures in about 1660 and the Dalton minimum in 1820. This matches the observed minimums in coral bleaching observed around these same dates.  If the world's mean ocean temperatures are in fact affected by the level of sunspot activity, then we should expect the level of coral bleaching to decrease between about 2020 and 2050, matching the expected decrease in solar activity.

The original scientific paper can be accessed here:

You need to be careful they use a Mann et al. (2008) temperature reconstruction, which should be taken with a truck load of salt.